Tripp Laino, 202-999-4273
FAMM urges North Carolina legislature to protect people in prison amid COVID-19 crisis
RALEIGH – FAMM Vice President of Policy Molly Gill sent a letter today to North Carolina State Representatives John Bell, David Lewis and Darren Jackson calling on the North Carolina House Select Committee on COVID-19 to ensure the swift release of elderly, immunocompromised and seriously ill people from prisons and jails. These steps have been recommended by health professionals and corrections experts in several other states.
“People in North Carolina’s prisons can’t protect themselves from the coronavirus outbreak, but lawmakers can,” Gill said. “The state should be granting medical release to the thousands of prisoners who are elderly, ill and at high risk to COVID-19. Protecting prisoner health is protecting our own health, because prison walls are powerless against the spread of this virus.”
Minimizing the risk to the prisoner population – and to the thousands of corrections professionals who care for them – requires decisive action. The Centers for Disease Control consider the most vulnerable to include people over 65 years old, and people with a condition that affects their lungs, heart, kidney, immune system, or who have another serious chronic medical condition.
For nearly three decades, FAMM has united the voices of affected families, the formerly incarcerated, and a range of stakeholders and advocates to fight for a more fair and effective justice system. FAMM’s focus on ending a one-size-fits-all punishment structure has led to reforms to sentencing and prison policies in 6 states and is paving the way to programs that support rehabilitation for the 94% of all prisoners who will return to our neighborhoods one day.
FAMM is a national nonpartisan advocacy organization that promotes fair and effective criminal justice policies that safeguard taxpayer dollars and keep our communities safe. Founded in 1991, FAMM is helping transform America’s criminal justice system by uniting the voices of impacted families and individuals and elevating the issues all across the country.